HSE Media Release

13th January 2023

The HSE has announced that walk-in flu vaccination clinics for children aged 2-17 years will be stood up from this week in community vaccination centres across the country including Cavan and Monaghan. This is in response to rising numbers of both flu cases in children as well as the significant number of children who have been hospitalised with flu this winter.

Cavan and Monaghan Community Vaccination Centres are now offering walk in flu vaccination clinics for all children aged 2-17 years. No appointment is necessary and the vaccine is free of charge. Please see details below:

Monaghan COVID-19 Vaccination Hub, St. Davnet’s, Monaghan, H18 ED80

Sunday January 15th 1pm to 4pm

Drumalee GAA Clubhouse, St. Felim’s Park, Drumalee, Cavan, H12 DY88

Sunday January 22nd  1pm to 4pm

The children’s free nasal flu vaccine will be available up until 23rd January 2023. After this date, only children with medical conditions which put them at risk of serious illness from flu will be able to get a flu vaccine. The HSE is encouraging parents to avail of this opportunity to vaccinate their children against flu as flu continues to spread and is likely to continue circulating further for a number of weeks.

The vaccine for children is free and is a nasal spray.

Dr Aparna Keegan, Specialist in Public Health Medicine and Flu Lead, HSE National Immunisation Office said: “Flu is a serious illness that can be dangerous in children too. We are seeing rising cases of flu in the community so we are encouraging parents of children aged 12-17 to get their children vaccinated to protect them while there is still time.

Sinead McConnell, General Manager Vaccination Programme Community Healthcare Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Monaghan, Sligo stated “The nasal spray flu vaccine is a very safe and effective vaccine and helps your child’s immune system produce antibodies that fight infection. It cannot give your child the flu. If your child has had the flu vaccine and they come into contact with flu virus, these antibodies will help them fight the flu and reduce the risk of getting sick or needing to go to hospital.

“The vaccination process is a simple nasal spray and is given by spraying the vaccine once into each of the child’s nostrils. Getting the nasal spray flu vaccine is a safe, effective and a pain free way to protect your child from flu this winter.”

While most children who catch flu have mild symptoms, flu can sometimes lead to serious complications such as pneumonia or bronchitis in some children. Children, especially young children, are also more likely than adults to get severe complications of flu.

Nationally to date nearly 700 children under the age of 14 have been hospitalised with flu this winter.

In Ireland, between 2009 and 2019, the HSE Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) reported:

  • 4,750 children needed hospital treatment because of complications of flu
  • 183 of these were admitted to intensive care
  • 41 children died

The full schedule of clinics is available on https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/flu/walk-in/

The vaccine is also available from participating GPs and Pharmacists. Parents can find details on pharmacies offering vaccinations in their area using the pharmacy finder tool

For further information go to www.hse.ie/flu  or call HSELive on 1800 700 700

ENDS

It’s not too late to get vaccinated

MEDIA STATEMENT: HSE Public Health, Area A (Cavan, Louth, Meath, Monaghan and North Dublin)

6th January, 2023: Public Health Area A is highlighting the high levels of flu, COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses in circulation in the community and is urging the public to get their flu and COVID-19 vaccines.

Dr Lois O’Connor, Consultant in Public Health Medicine, HSE Public Health Area A, said: “The surge of respiratory illnesses in the community is putting significant pressure on our health services across the region. We can reduce this burden by staying at home from work, school and crèche if you are sick, and getting your flu and COVID-19 vaccines.”

“We are seeing very high levels of respiratory viruses including flu, COVID-19 and RSV. If you have respiratory symptoms please stay at home. As schools and childcare facilities reopen this week we also ask parents and guardians to keep their children home from school/crèche if they are sick.”

“It’s not too late for people to get the flu vaccine or COVID-19 booster. Even though vaccines take two weeks to work, vaccination is an effective, safe way to protect you and people around you from flu and COVID-19. This is especially important for those at higher risk including older people, people with chronic health conditions, people who are pregnant, and young children.

Dr O’Connor added: “Flu and COVID-19 are caused by two different viruses and require two different vaccines. You can get the flu vaccine and COVID-19 booster vaccine at the same time. Those aged 18-49 can now get their second COVID-19 booster vaccine. For information on how to book a COVID-19 or flu vaccine, visit the HSE website or call our team on HSELive on 1800 700 700.”

In addition to getting vaccinated, help prevent the spread of respiratory illness by:

  • Washing your hands often with soap and warm water.

·         Staying at home from work, school or crèche if you or your child is sick.

  • Avoiding visits to vulnerable or elderly people if you are sick.

·         Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze – put used tissues into a bin and wash your hands.

·         Ensuring adequate ventilation in indoor settings, including opening windows and doors where possible to reduce the transmission of respiratory viruses.

  • Cleaning objects and surfaces that other people touch frequently.
  • Wearing a mask to protect yourself and those around you, especially in confined spaces like public transport.

Emergency Departments continue to be extremely busy due to the unprecedented combination of very high levels of flu, COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses in circulation. HSE Public Health Area A is appealing to people seeking medical care or assessment to consider all options before going to a hospital Emergency Department. Urgent patients will always be prioritised for treatment and care.

Other options available if you are feeling unwell or are injured are:

Community Pharmacies:

You can visit your local pharmacy if you feel unwell. Pharmacists are qualified healthcare professionals. They can give you medicines you can buy without a prescription, medicines you have a prescription for, advice on minor illnesses, and can tell you if you need to see a GP.

GPs and GP Out-of-Hours Services:

Some GPs are running additional clinics during this time. If you urgently need to see a GP outside their clinic hours, you can contact your local GP out-of-hours service.

Minor Injury Units:

Injury units treat injuries that are not life-threatening. For example, broken bones, dislocations and burns. You do not need an appointment. There are 11 HSE Injury Unit locations, you can find one close to you on the HSE website: www2.hse.ie/services/injury-units. 

ENDS

Notes to Editor:

For more information, see:

Budget 2023 Personal Tax Package to Benefit 1.5 million income taxpayers – Brendan Smith TD 

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith TD has said the Budget 2023 personal tax package which took effect from January 1st 2023 will benefit 1.5 million taxpayers across the country. 

Deputy Brendan Smith said, “Government is very conscious of the pressure on working people regarding the cost of living. Budget 2023 introduced a new personal tax package that will see 1.5 million taxpayers benefit with more money back in their pockets.”

As of January 1st, 2023, the Standard Rate Cut-Off Point will increase by €3,200 from €36,800 to €40,000 for single persons, with commensurate increases for married couples and civil partners. For those earning €40,000, this change will mean a reduction of over €800 in income tax paid in 2023.

The main tax credits (personal, employee and earned income) will all increase by €75 from €1,700 to €1,775. The home carer tax credit will increase by €100 from €1,600 to €1,700.

“These reductions in personal tax mean more money in pay packets for working people across Cavan-Monaghan. For those earning around the median income it will result in an €800 reduction in income tax”, added the Fianna Fáil TD.

Ends 

Brendan Smith TD welcomes substantial reductions in early learning and childcare costs

  • New subsidy rates under the National Childcare Scheme effective from 2 January
  • Record numbers of children now benefitting from supports under the Scheme
  • All families encouraged to ensure they are availing of their entitlements under the Scheme

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith has welcomed substantial reductions in early learning and Childcare costs. 

New subsidy rates under the National Childcare Scheme have been introduced which are set to substantially reduce out of pocket costs for early learning and childcare for thousands of families across the country.

Deputy Brendan Smith said, “I’m delighted to see these reductions in early learning and childcare costs for families across the country. 

“These were important measures introduced in Budget 2023 in order to ease the pressure on families and improve the early learning and childcare system for families. Families across the country will save on average up to €1,200 per year, per child, thanks to a 25% reduction in childcare costs. 

“€1 billion is being invested in early learning and childcare in 2023 and this will see more families than ever avail of the National Childcare Scheme. Fianna Fáil is committed to making childcare more affordable for families while improving the quality of the service for children and parents across the country.” 

From 2 January, the minimum hourly subsidy under the National Childcare Scheme for all children under 15 will be €1.40 – an increase of €0.90 per hour from last year.

For families using Tusla-registered early learning and childcare, this subsidy increase represents further cost reductions of €2,106 (or a reduction of €3,326 in total) off the annual cost of early learning and childcare for each child.

The change to the National Childcare Scheme is being backed by €121 million secured in Budget 2023, bringing total funding for the Scheme to €358 million this year.

Record numbers of children are now accessing support under the Scheme. More than 98,000 children are currently in receipt of support, representing an 82% increase in the number of children for the same period last year.

Ends 

Government accept need for pay increase for CE, TUS and RSS supervisors and assistant supervisors – Brendan Smith TD

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith has welcomed news today that the Government has accepted the need for a pay increase for supervisors and assistant supervisors within CE, TÚS and RSS. 

A pay claim has been submitted to the Workplace Relations Commission on behalf of supervisors and assistant supervisors on Community Employment Schemes, TÚS and Rural Social Scheme. 

The Department of Social Protection are not the employers of those on these programmes but instead pay a grant to the sponsor bodies that deliver and organise these services. The Department accepts the merit of a pay increase and will allocate funding from its current estimates to support any pay settlement that may be agreed. 

Commenting on the news, Deputy Brendan Smith said, “Government has today agreed that a pay rise is needed for supervisors and assistant supervisors on CE, TÚS and RSS. 

“2008 was the last pay increase these workers received and I have been urging Government to resolve this issue. Supervisors and assistant supervisors on community employment schemes do very valuable work across the country and manage those gaining work experience on these schemes. 

“The Department of Social Protection will now pay any potential acceptable pay settlement that is agreed. This will be paid from an allocation of the Department’s current funding, and I look forward to completion of this process.”

Remembering Geraldine O’Reilly and Patrick Stanley

On the 28th of December we had very dignified tributes with Anniversary Mass at 11 a.m. and Wreath Laying Ceremony at 12 Noon to mark the 50th Anniversary of the deaths of Geraldine O’Reilly and Patrick Stanley in the despicable Belturbet bombing.

The O’Reilly and Stanley families have campaigned with great grace and dignity to have the truth established into that deadly loyalist bomb attack and to have the perpetrators of this heinous crime brought to justice.

A solemn moment in Belturbet that night as church bells rang out at 10.28 pm, priests gave blessing and candles placed on monument in memory of Geraldine and Patrick, tragically taken from their families and friends in that deplorable bombing at that time 50 years ago.

28th December 2022

Over €1.9m in BDGP payments issuing to 1155 suckler farmers across Cavan-Monaghan – Smith

 Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan, Brendan Smith, has welcomed confirmation from his party colleague and Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D., that payments under the 2022 Beef Data and Genomics Programmes (BDGP) have commenced.

Deputy Brendan Smith said, “I am very pleased that payments have commenced under the really important BDGP scheme   which have brought about reductions in Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions while also introducing genetic technology into the national herd thus improving farm profitability. The BGDP has also been critical income support for beef and suckler farmers since its inception.

“Over €1.2m is issuing to 723 beef and suckler farmers in Cavan under the BDGP from today with €724,413 issuing to 432 farmers across Monaghan. ”

Further Beef Data and Genomics Programme payments will continue to issue on an ongoing basis as more farmers verify their compliance with the 2022 scheme requirements.

Deputy Brendan Smith concluded by urging participating farmers “to return all surveys and genotyping samples and/or complete the carbon navigator update as soon as possible to facilitate payment”.

12/12/2022

Cavan and Monaghan to benefit from €1.8 M from Community Centres Investment Fund – Brendan Smith TD

I welcome the allocation of funding for 9 community groups throughout #Cavan and 11 in #Monaghan under the government’s Community Centres Investment Fund.

The funding will see improvements to community centres, GAA clubs, parish halls, youth centres, youth hubs, Family Resource Centres, men’s sheds and other facilities used by our elderly.

Examples of some of the types of work being supported include:

Extensions to existing community centres

The provision of meeting rooms, offices, counselling rooms and family rooms

Energy Retrofitting/upgrades to Heating Systems

Works to develop community centres as social hubs through the development of community cinemas, youth hubs and community libraries

Works to upgrade kitchen facilities to enhance the delivery of Meals on Wheels

Upgrades to lighting systems and stage areas

Safety Upgrades

Essentials maintenance works, repairs to roof, re-wiring,etc

Works to upgrade toilet facilities

Works to improve disability access

Replacement of windows and doors

Installation of electric vehicle charging points

I compliment each group on submitting successful applications and wish them every success with their work.

I was glad to work alongside some of the groups in preparing their detailed applications. Like all aspects of life covid impacted on the use of community facilities and activities had to be cancelled for prolonged periods cutting off an essential funding stream to meet ongoing costs in running local community centres. This government funding is also a recognition of the additional costs facing community groups in providing many important and worthwhile recreation and sporting facilities for people of all age groups. Government funding is extremely important in supporting such valuable work in every community throughout the country. This government since July 2020, through substantial funding and the introduction of a number of new initiatives has clearly demonstrated its support for community and voluntary work.

Brendan Smith welcomes resumption of Cavan Town Day Services

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan and Monaghan, Brendan Smith has welcomed confirmation from the HSE, following his ongoing representations, that Day Services in Cavan Town will resume in the first quarter of 2023. 

Deputy Brendan Smith commented, “The Day Service, which was previously delivered at the Lisdarn Unit, will resume in the Day Care building adjacent to the John Sullivan Home when refurbishment works are completed in early 2023.  Day Services were closed during the lockdown period due to Public Health advice for Infection Prevention and Control purposes. 

“The HSE in some instances directly provides Day Care and arrangements also exist where the HSE provide some funding for voluntary organisations to provide such services. The type of day service provided varies with some providing a more social element which may offer personal care; while other services are nurse led and provide a nursing service as well as social activities.   

“These important services are very much appreciated by all service users and the essential closure of such services during lockdown was a real loss for many individuals throughout every community”, concluded Brendan Smith. 

25/11/2022

Brendan Smith welcomes over €50m in new funding for Shared Island programmes

Shared Island Fund to enable new all-island partnership projects across a range of areas including biodiversity and peatlands, tourism, language and culture, civil society, research and innovation


More than €190m allocated from the Government’s Shared Island Fund since 2020

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan, Brendan Smith, has welcomed confirmation from Taoiseach Micheál Martin that over €50m in funding has been made available to deliver a new suite of Shared Island programmes. 

The Taoiseach this morning outlined the funding allocations, which are: 

  • €11m for all-island biodiversity actions on peatlands restoration and biosecurity;  
  • €7.6m for new all-island tourism brand collaboration and marketing initiatives; 
  • €8m for a Shared Island dimension to the Creative Ireland programme and cultural heritage projects over 2023-2027; 
  • €2m funding contribution to a new Shared Island Civic Society fund; 
  • €12m for development of a cross-border innovation hub; 
  • €10m funding contribution to a second round of the North South Research Programme. 

The Taoiseach also confirmed a contribution of €20m from the Shared Island Fund for Co-Centres for Research and Innovation on Climate and Sustainable and Resilient Food Systems. 

These new investment cooperation projects will be delivered through North/South and East-West partnerships and all-island funding programmes, by Ministers and their Departments working with Northern Ireland and UK Government partners.  

Today’s announcement brings to over €190m, the amount allocated from the Shared Island Fund over the past two years, to deliver the Shared Island investment objectives in the Programme for Government and the revised National Development Plan 2021-30. 

Deputy Brendan Smith said, “Today’s funding announcement sets out an ambitious, cross-Government programme of work, which will bring communities, North and South, together to work on shared strategic priorities  to build consensus around a shared future on the island, underpinned by the Good Friday Agreement.

“The Shared Island Initiative is proof of Fianna Fail’s commitment to delivering all-island solutions which produce real results and benefits for people on either side of the border.”

Communities across Cavan and Monaghan will benefit from a number of these exciting projects announced today and future rounds of Shared Island funding will also be beneficial for our region

A comprehensive report on the second year of implementation of the initiative was published by the Department of the Taoiseach for the 2nd Shared Island Forum and is available at www.gov.ie/sharedisland

-Ends- 

Notes to Editor: 

The Shared Island initiative is a whole of Government priority to engage with all communities and political traditions to build consensus around a shared future on the island, underpinned by the Good Friday Agreement.

The Shared Island initiative is backed by the Government’s Shared Island Fund, with at least €1billion out to 2030 ring-fenced for delivery of all-island investment commitments and objectives in the Programme for Government and revised National Development Plan 2021-30; informed by a programme of engagement with people across the island through the Shared Island Dialogue series and a comprehensive policy research programme, which provides a stronger evidence base and analysis of the island Ireland across a range of economic, environmental and social areas.

The Taoiseach announced today Government allocations of more than €50m from the Shared Island Fund to a number of Departments for delivery of new Shared Island investment cooperation projects.  These include: 


€11m for All-Island Biodiversity actions
The Minister for Housing, Heritage and Local Government will take forward new biodiversity actions: 

(i) Cross-border peatland restoration: €10m contribution to a cross-border peatland restoration programme led by the National Parks and Wildlife Service. To conserve vital peatland ecosystems and reduce carbon emissions, working with partners in Northern Ireland and Scotland. The project will reduce carbon emissions of 6,000 tonnes C/yr and restore 4,000ha of blanket bog within and adjacent to protected sites, across Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

 

(ii)Shared Island invasive species and biosecurity initiative: €1m funding investment in a new all-island invasive species and biosecurity partnership, to protect the island of Ireland’s unique ecological resources. This will include strategic all-island risk assessment and trend analysis on invasive species; biosecurity strategy; alignment of current and future pathway actions and contingency plan; and a citizen science invasive species programme.

These programmes will be delivered and overseen by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage (D/HLHG) with counterpart agencies North and South.

 

€7.6m for All-Island Tourism brand collaboration
The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media will make available up to €7.6m for tourism agencies to progress a new collaboration to link the Wild Atlantic Way and Causeway Coastal Route tourism brands.

The funding will enable tourism agencies to conduct joint work to connect these two internationally-recognised brands, to achieve longer visitor stays and greater economic benefits in the North West and Northern coast regions. The Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media will oversee the project in consultation with the Department for Economy (NI).

 

€2m for a new Shared Island Civic Society Fund
The Minister for Foreign Affairs and his Department will take forward a new Shared Island Civic Society funding scheme to enable civic society and community organisations to develop new cross-border links, further strengthen existing partnerships, and create or broaden cross-border connectivity, complementing vital work supported through the Department of Foreign Affairs Reconciliation Fund.  

A pilot call for the scheme will commence in the coming weeks for applications from organisations to take forward cross-border civic cooperation initiatives in areas such as: climate and environment; community development; heritage and conservation; social enterprise, charity, and voluntary sector; and sport. 


€8m for Shared Island dimension to the Creative Ireland programme and cultural heritage projects  

The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media will take forward a major Shared Island dimension to the Government’s Creative Ireland Programme 2023-27 and make available funding for all-island cultural heritage projects. 

The Shared Island dimension of the Creative Ireland programme 2023-27 will enable existing elements of the programme, such as Cruinniú na nÓg, the national day of free creativity for children and young people, to be developed on an all-island basis. Local Authorities’ Culture and Creativity Teams will be encouraged to use and develop cross-border networks to support and take up cultural and creative cooperation opportunities. New cultural heritage projects, to foster greater appreciation and enjoyment of the diverse linguistic and cultural heritage of the whole island, including the Ulster Scots and Irish traditions will also be developed. 

This will complement the €7.4m allocated from the Shared Island Fund in July for Arts investment projects developed in consultation with the Arts Council and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. 

€10m for North South Research Programme administered by the Higher Education Authority
Following on from the success of the first round of the Government’s new North South Research Programme with more than €37m awarded to 62 projects in March 2022, the Minister for Further and Higher Education Research Innovation and Science will launch a second round of the programme in the second half of 2023 enabled by a Shared Island Fund allocation of €10m and following a review by the HEA of activity under the first round. 

€20m for Co-Centres for Research and Innovation administered by Science Foundation Ireland
The Shared Island Fund will contribute €20m for new Co-Centres for Research and Innovation administered by Science Foundation Ireland with match funding from the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science; Northern Ireland Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) and UK Research and Innovation.

 

The Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, together with his Northern Irish and British Government counterparts, Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and Northern Ireland and UK research partners, announced the establishment of Co-Centres for Research and Innovation on 24 October.  

Science Foundation Ireland opened a call on 24 November for proposals on Climate, and Sustainable and Resilient Food Systems. Each Co-Centre will be funded for a duration of 6 years.

These will be joint, virtual Research Centres to strengthen the research and innovation base across Ireland, Great Britain and Northern Ireland, supporting a competitive economy and addressing societal and environmental challenges.

5/12/2022